I was recently having a difficult conversation with an authority figure, struggling to use my voice and speak up for myself. As happens very commonly when you are on an empowering self development or spiritual journey, I realised that I had to focus on some forgiveness activities because I had a flashback during this conversation to a traumatic childhood memory which has had a huge impact on me into adulthood.
OH! THE SHAME!
I was maybe 5-7yo. I had a weekend visit with Dad who never had food in the fridge. He took my brother and I to the supermarket and said “you can choose whatever you want for breakfast”
So I got a big carton of custard!
After breakfast, Dad took us for a bike ride. You can’t take Dad anywhere without him seeing a billion people he knows, so of course we got held up while he chatted to a friend.
I was getting a tummy ache. I tried to tell Dad, who was immersed in conversation. He refused to listen while telling me to wait until the grown-ups finish chatting.
You can imagine what happened!!
ONE EVENT CREATED NUMEROUS LIFETIME DRAMAS!
Dad was understandably frustrated.
I was in trouble for not speaking up.
And more than that – I was angry because I’d tried to speak up and wasn’t heard. What did I have to do to be heard?
Ultimately, the lesson I’d learned was to not speak up; my voice isn’t valued even when I think it’s important; I’m not worthy of being listened to and that I always had to wait and wait for my chance to speak… and my chance to speak simply never came.
And so this became the subconscious, underlying script of my life since that day!
I was always a super shy kid, but that day, my shyness and timidity became a whole lot more.
FORGIVENESS SETS US FREE
Childhood traumas (big and small) must be emotionally processed so that we can find forgiveness, not for the other person or people involved, but for our own self healing and self development.
The benefit is that once we have processed all of our hurts, the scripting that unconsciously controls our responses and reactions to every event that happens in our life is immediately changed to a more positive and empowering script. Once we forgive, we are no longer controlled by the shadows of our past.
So how did I now process the emotions that I’d become aware of, and that have been ruling my life?
BE BRAVE TO FIND FORGIVENESS!
First of all, I felt the emotions.
The thing is, it sucks feeling all the feels, and it sucks just as much when we avoid feeling what we need to feel.
But we are so well-trained to repress and suppress our emotions, that we avoid them at all costs!
How many times can you remember your parents, your grandparents, your friend’s parents, maybe even your school teachers and babysitters saying things like “it wasn’t that bad, you don’t need to cry about it”, “quit crying”, “don’t be a sissy”, “if you don’t stop crying, I’m going to smack you”?
I’d be almost certain that we’ve all heard one of these, or a variation that was an effort to stop us feeling what we were feeling!
And so I gave myself permission to be brave, and to feel the feelings.
FEELINGS ARE A PART OF LIVING IN A HUMAN BODY
I felt anger, humiliation, embarrassment, disgust, hatred, non forgiveness etc. I felt it all! We can’t let go of the negative emotions if we don’t feel them.
Dare I say, it is part of the human condition that we must feel the feelings.
We are souls living in human bodies, having a human experience, and as such, we must feel human feelings, all the dualities and polarities; the good the bad and the ugly.
We simply must give ourselves permission to feel.
DARE I CHECK OUT ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE?
I forced myself to look at Dad’s perspective of the situation.
Obviously it was a parenting fail for dummies, letting a kid eat so much sugary crap!
But in my adult eyes, I can see that he was probably trying to be liked and loved by giving me something I wanted, something that excited me.
I can recognise and acknowledge that he was trying to teach me respect by not allowing me to interrupt a conversation.
More than anything I managed to identify that Dad didn’t want any of this to happen:
Dad in no way, shape or form would’ve wanted me to poop my pants!
There is not a possibility in this world that he would’ve wanted to clean up that mess, nor would he have wanted to deal with the whinging and whining that he no doubt received as we rode our bikes back home.
COMPASSION AS A KEY ELEMENT TO FORGIVENESS
Realising that Dad hadn’t planned this, allowed me to hold compassion for his side of the story.
The simple act of finding compassion for him, was enough to allow me to let go of all of those negative, challenging and low vibration emotions that were creating the subconscious scripting.that held me back from speaking my truth, particularly around authority figures.
A small but traumatic childhood event that I’ve not thought about for a long time had a huge amount of control over me, as an underlying, subconscious script which also made it hard for Dad and I to connect as I grew up.
Because how could we develop a true, warm, heart centred connection when there was so much anger there?
Funny thing is, my dad probably has no recollection of this ever happening! A day in the life of a parent, right?
Happily for me, this trauma has now been cleared and the soul lessons learned so I can move on with more freedom to react to things as I wish to, and use my voice much easier.
CAN YOU FIND COMPASSION TO HELP YOU FORGIVE?
I’d love to see some comments on how other people have used compassion as a forgiveness tool. Please leave a comment, ask a question, or tell me a brief story from your life.